Fitness Challenge and Games

It’s been a few days. I just started my new job and have been super busy with that. I almost forgot what it was like to work 8h a day for five days rather than 12h for three. I suppose the biggest bummer is that it is beautiful weather right now and I am stuck inside a hospital or car for 10h every day. But there it is.

I mentioned in one of my last few posts about the Game On Diet. Just want to remind everyone that it is a book and that you can buy it or probably borrow it from the library. From those few years ago I had made up my own set of rules strongly based off the books rules. I also saved their score sheet, their food lists, and other such sundry that the Game required. Well, I have been drafted into a Game… I know, I know, I said I was unlikely to play again, but considering the group I think this will go better than those other games I played. So here are a few details about what this Game entails and what I will likely be writing about for the next few weeks.

The game requires six small meals, eaten every two to four hours, a day. The science behind this is fairly simple. Eating smaller, more frequent meals staves off binge and over-eating, controls blood sugars better, and sustains energy levels throughout the day. Each meal is supposed to consist of a nonstarchy carb, a protein, and a healthy fat, in correct proportions. Easy peasy. This is one of the biggest challenges for the entire game! If you thought planning three meals was hard, take on six. So, we made a change. Instead of six full meals we decided on three full meals with three snacks. Meals have to follow game rules, snacks have to contain a carb and a protein or a fat. Fat and protein are not acceptable. Again, science backs this up. Fat and protein slow the digestion and absorption of carbs, sustaining energy levels and blood sugar levels. Also, packing two snacks and a lunch is way easier than three meals.

How to track all this loveliness is also a challenge. A great app to use is Lose It! I have used this app on an off for the past five years. You can make your own meals, scan bar codes, and map out your calorie intake for the day. If you were to eat 3 meals and 3 snacks you could feesibly remain under 1800 calories without being hungry throughout the day. One downside is that you cannot track separate snacks unless you make your own and each meal is broken down into its individual components. I would suggest anyone using this app to take the time to figure out meal composition and put in their own foods whenever you are going to use it a lot (like oatmeal and milk) so that you don’t have to pick everything every day.

The second part of the game requires 20 minutes of activity a day. This is not toodling around your house and does not include cleaning, though that can be a workout. This is concentrated physical activity meant to get you to sweat and burn calories. There is no specification on how this is to be accomplished. Some common apps that I use to track my activity, since I enjoy being outside, is MapMyFitness and C25K. I have a personal goal of eventually running a marathon, just to say I did, so I will be doing the C25K app, which gets you from the couch to a 5K in 8 weeks, but I plan on doing it in four. After that I will find a 10k app, then a half marathon training schedule, and a marathon schedule. I know there are apps out there for interval training, and when I find one I like I will post it. Fit Mommy has a nice six day, 16 week workout routine as well. I am planning on coupling the C25K instead of her running idea. Science, because I love it, has shown that cardio is good  but it is better when coupled with weight training, whether that be body weight or lifting, to reduce body fat.

The third part of the game, and really my favorite, is the habit building and breaking. Technically (and according to research) it takes approximately 54 days to establish a new habit, not 21, but 28 days is a pretty good start! Do this right before Lent, if you are Catholic, you are pretty much gold. The idea is to pick a habit you want to start and one you want to quit. I am terrible at flossing (gasp!) so one of my habits to start in one of the games I played was to floss every day. I don’t floss now, but it was a good habit to try and instill. A bad habit to break for me was, well heck, I don’t even remember now, but one I have now is that I touch my face, a lot. As a nurse, this is a terrible habit to be in. Now that I think about it, that will probably be my habit to break this go around. But that’s the idea. My good habit I will form is being prepared for tomorrow tonight. I will pick out my clothes, have my meals prepped, and be ready to go if I need to. Both of these are going to be really hard to do.

I know I said in my Game On post that I wasn’t going to focus on weight loss, and I am not, but that is a Game parameter, so I will have to keep track of it. But my goal for this is much more personal. I want to be a Mama and so far we have been unsuccessful. Mostly I think I was on the contraceptive medication for too long, but my body ins’t bouncing back from it like it did when I was 26. The goal is to get back to a much more healthy weight so that I can provide the right environment for our little ones. Fingers are crossed.

Let me know if you want to play the game! I will be happy to post the rules we play by and you can always use the Google to search out the score sheets, the FYT foods and the FLAAB foods, I don’t remember what they stand for.

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